In an age where business is increasingly handled and promoted online, it’s easy to believe that marketing should remain online too. Sometimes ‘newer’ and ‘shinier’ methods of promotion like PPC, SEO and AdWords are seen as ‘better’. However, there are other ways to get great business results and it actually involves going back to basics.
Peer in through the window of any sales floor on Wall Street – what’s the one thing all those employees have in common? A phone in their hand. That’s right – the humble phone call is still one of the most effective ways to do business. In fact, 42% of people pick up the phone to call a business at least once a week. You heard right – almost half the population engage with businesses over the telephone at least once a week. Those figures are staggering. Can you afford not to consider calls to your business as a viable marketing channel?
Look at it this way, if a customer chooses to call your business, they are already engaged with your company. They’ve taken the hard work from you by giving you their attention. How good are you at tracking the effectiveness of your inbound calls? Chances are – not very. We’d even hazard a guess that it’s something you’ve scarcely even considered before.
If you think this might be the case for your business, you’re not alone. Inbound call tracking is an area that many businesses tend to neglect, favouring more digital methods like website or landing page promotion through digital or native advertising in the belief that these channels are more trackable.
We’ve got some news for you: Phone calls can be tracked…and far more intelligently than you might think.
It’s time to recognise phone calls as a meaningful marketing channel in their own right. Just as you’d track your ad on Google or in the local paper, there are three core metrics you need to follow:
How many of your inbound calls lead to a sale?
Cost per conversion
How much does each phone call cost your business (e.g. advertising spend)?
ROI (Return on Investment)
Based on the number of sales, how much revenue has your business generated from inbound calls?
Enter: The campaign-specific phone number.
So how exactly do you measure which of your inbound calls are a direct result of your marketing efforts? Enter: the campaign-specific phone number.
By taking a set of unique phone numbers and attributing each one to a different marketing campaign you’ll soon be able to measure each of the above metrics simply and easily, so long as you have the right tools in place.
Depending on the number of calls and the quality of leads coming into your business, you can decide which campaigns are worth your while and deserving of investment and which should be adjusted or dropped. Just as you would with digital advertising, you’ll be able to use this insight to establish which marketing channels are performing best, whilst saving money on those campaigns that don’t perform so well.
Another key feature of campaign-specific phone numbers is that they allow your sales team to combat the kryptonite of any business – the infamous ‘leaky bucket’ effect.
Picture this: you’ve got a lovely stream of leads coming in and that bucket is starting to fill up with opportunities. Now, what happens if your sales team aren’t aware of where the calls originated? Simple. The leads won’t be attributed to the correct marketing source or channel.
In the same way, what if call comes into the sales team and they’re busy…In haste, they enter the source of a lead incorrectly – Suddenly your marketing team has incorrect information on the marketing campaign or channel performance, which means they can’t possibly correctly adjust or expand from here on in.
With campaign specific numbers, your sales team always know exactly which advert a caller has dialled from. With the right technology in place, you can set up a ‘whisper’ at the start of any phone call to tell you exactly what the lead source is, which means less room for error and you’ll finally be able to see how marketing is driving sales in reality as opposed to in theory.
Now let’s look at this from a wider business perspective: You’ll also be able to see how many calls were answered and more importantly, how many were missed. Any missed call is a missed opportunity for business so by having complete transparency on call activity you’ll be able to run your business smarter.
The insights you can gain from call statistics are almost limitless and they really do enable you to adapt the way you and your team work. By monitoring call volumes, you can keep an eye on seasonal trends and allocate staff appropriately, with call recording you can ensure a consistently high customer service experience and you can even set up missed call alerts for those times where you just can’t get to the phone. There’s no excuse to miss a (marketing) lead again.
Still, think the phone call is a difficult way to track your marketing? Didn’t think so.